Cherokee Citizens Petitioning Compact Between Tribe, State
CHEROKEE COUNTY, Oklahoma - A group of Cherokees is criticizing a new compact between the tribe and the state.
Chief Bill John Baker and Governor Fallin signed the compact last month. It authorizes the tribe to spend $300,000 on hunting and fishing licenses for Cherokee citizens over the age of 16.
Oklahoma would use the money generated by the compact for wildlife conservation, but some Cherokee citizens believe the compact is a bad idea that was rushed through too quickly.
Now they're leading a petition initiative to nullify it and allow Cherokee citizens to vote on it.
The group said the compact threatens the tribe's sovereignty and costs the Cherokee Nation too much money.
“That money could go to other desperately needed services. For those who think that think Chief Baker is giving them a free license, the Cherokee Nation is paying, and paying a very high price for rights we already have," said Cherokee citizen, Gayle Ross.
The compact goes into effect January 1.